Archive Article: 2001/06/08 - Farmers Weekly

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Archive Article: 2001/06/08

8 June 2001

Spray day… As fine weather continued to hold Andrew Thurlby took the opportunity to spray Opus and Agrys on a 12ha (31-acre) field of Optic spring barley at A &#42 & A F Thurlbys 202ha (500-acre) farm at Mill Lane, Tallington, near Stamford, Lincs.

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Archive Article: 2001/06/08

8 June 2001

Well stay fully alert to MAFF slaughter plans

Rumours that MAFF is about to embark on a big expansion of the foot-and-mouth cull are a measure of the panic and fear gripping our countryside.

With good reason. So far, at least 6m animals have been slaughtered and some believe that figure could double.

Intensive investigations by FW reporters have failed to uncover hard evidence that MAFF plans to do anything more than extend stock blood testing.

Rest assured we will continue to keep a close eye on the latest developments and keep readers fully informed through these pages and our on-line news service FWi.

NI exports cast a little light in the gloom

Good news is hard to come by these days, so the resumption of exports of sheepmeat, pork, pigs and milk from Northern Ireland is a welcome boost to at least one section of the farming community.

There must be no let up in the battle to keep the province free of foot-and-mouth.

Hopes were raised before that the disease had been beaten only for three further cases to emerge at Easter, when trade was shut down again.

Fortress farming is the only way forward. If farmers and the industry continue to keep their guards up hopefully, this time, they will be able to keep markets open.

Good grain storage is money in the bank

Store grain well and there is always a market. Store it poorly and buyers will be hard to find.

So, as a worryingly thin harvest approaches, why not protect your investment with top class storage?

After one of the worst growing seasons on record, there is little growers can now do to boost yield. But protecting your harvested tonnage with tip top storage management and marketing could help crops sell for a few £s more than expected as our Grain Storage Special explains.

Helps at hand for the rural crisis sufferers

Farmers could be forgiven for thinking that foot-and-mouth was conveniently forgotten by the government in the run-up to the general election.

But many country people know that their suffering is far from over.

Doctors warn of a big rise in illnesses such as depression in the aftermath of the crisis in rural areas. That is why groups such as the Farmers Advice and Support Team have such a vital role to play.

It offers free, confidential emotional help to all those affected by F&M. And, as part of the National Health Service, it is well placed to give advice.

As one of the nurses involved says: "Depression is not a sign of weakness – but it can spark a downward spiral."

Worrying shortage of skills in all sectors

Nearly 65% of machinery dealers have frozen recruitment indefinitely thanks to the foot-and-mouth crisis, according to a survey of its members by the British Agricultural and Garden Machinery Manufacturers Association.

The shortage of skilled technicians makes disturbing reading for a machinery industry which continues to introduce more sophisticated equipment.

But it is not just one sector of UK agriculture which is being starved of new blood. Now, more than ever before, we need to attract new talent to help our industry restructure after the F&M disaster.

A good start would be praising the benefits of working in British agriculture; benefits which it is too easy to forget.

Too much sun can dim prospects for barley

Barley growers beware. Too much sun could damage yield, particularly if you are in the north or west of the UK.

Spring barley is most at risk, with Chariot the hardest hit variety in recent years. When intense sunshine follows wet or showery conditions during ear emergence, a stress reaction seems to trigger physiological leaf spotting and ramularia disease infection.

The precise mechanisms involved are unclear. But a dose of sun-block, in the form of strobilurin fungicide azoxystrobin (Amistar) plus a triazole partner, can protect vulnerable crops.

So, why not take care to avoid sun-scorched crops this summer. A precautionary application at booting could provide 1t/ha of extra yield.

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Archive Article: 2001/06/08

8 June 2001

Heifer and calf for sale, some time soon hopefully… Hugh Gardners 130-cow dairy herd was due to be auctioned next month when his share farming agreement at Rhode Farm, Tiverton, Devon, comes to an end. But the farm remains in a foot-and-mouth restricted area. So, as herdsman Richard Sobey helps the heifer to calve, they are unsure when the sale can take place, making decision-making difficult.

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Archive Article: 2001/06/08

8 June 2001

Highland cattle will be judged over the internet during the next month in the first ever web-linked cattle show. Baravalla Mina and her bull calf, owned by Hilary Barker from Stirling, Scotland, will be part of the virtual reality line-up.

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Archive Article: 2001/06/08

8 June 2001

Farmers weekly wants to say a big thank you to everyone whos donated money and given help and support to those in need following the foot-and-mouth outbreak.

Money contributed to the emergency funds is throwing a lifeline to many families. Every penny really does make a difference. People have also rallied round to support farmers, with acts of kindness and offers of support and resources.

Hawling Methodist Chapel and St Edwards Church, Hawling, held a joint service to recognise the hardship faced by those in the country and raise cash for farming charities. The service, which was led by Rev Roger Morris of the Church of England and Rev John Turner of the Methodist Church, raised more than £430 for the ARC-Addington Fund.

Hexham Rowing Club raised more than £500 holding a 24-hour marathon rowing machine race. The money went, through the Newcastle Journals appeal, to the Royal Agricultural Benevolent Fund. "Hexham, like many market towns around the country, is at the heart of a community reliant on agriculture and tourism for its survival. During the early stages of the F&M crisis, the town was in the media spotlight for all the wrong reasons," says Rowing Club member Neil Lewis. "But the Club, like many organisations, has a part to play in supporting the community and is in a unique position to help troubled businesses at this time of the dreaded epidemic, and put the area on the tourist map again – but for the right reasons!"

Banbury & District Vintage Ploughing Society has made a donation of £100 to RABI. The contribution was made because, as honorary treasurer Graham Clifton says, the Society "relies on the goodwill of farmers."

* Have you or someone you know put your hand in your pocket or acted in response to the current crisis? If so, let us know. Call 0208 652 4928 or e-mail tim.relf@rbi.co.uk

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Archive Article: 2001/06/08

8 June 2001

Muck spreading in the morning, grain cart in the afternoon, bale transport in the evening. All is possible, says Joskin when its new Cargo Lift system is employed. Based on a the hook container system used on lorries, the chassis is fitted with two hydraulic rams which can lift a variety of different units on board. The advantage being that only one main chassis is employed, says the manufacturer. Changing from one configuration to another is said to take about five minutes.

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Archive Article: 2001/06/08

8 June 2001

Claas reports it is set to field test the Rollant 250 RC Uniwrap baler this spring and summer to assess its suitability for the UK market. Launched in Europe last year, the unit incorporates an integral wrapping table equipped with two 750mm wrapping heads which provide 52% overlap and 60% prestretch. Price of the unit has yet to be announced.

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Archive Article: 2001/06/08

8 June 2001

Small-scale fertiliser spreading with SCH (Supplies) new trailed machines. Fitted with a spreading disc driven from land wheel and gearbox, spread width is from 2m to 6m depending on the towing speed. Available with 50 or 100-litre capacity, price of the larger model is listed at £411.

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Archive Article: 2001/06/08

8 June 2001

Its in the post… Eight lucky winners have been drawn in our Brabantia Prisma postbox competition. They were the first names drawn from those giving the correct answer to the question: What is the Post Offices new name? The correct answer – Consignia – was given by Mrs J Dunn, Truman Farm, Gotherington, Glos; D L Harrison, Mount Pleasant, Skidby, East Yorks; Mrs A Barnes, Thorneyknowe, Penton, Cumbria; Mrs Elizabeth Morris, The Hem Farm, Minsterley, Shropshire; Peter Jeffrey, Rosebank, Hutton, Berwick-upon-Tweed; Mrs Grant, Milking Nook Farm, Newborough, Cambs; Doreen Wadland, The Malt House, Broadwell, Warks; Mrs A Sherborne, Glebe House Farm, Bristol.

They each win a stylish Brabantia Prisma postbox (worth £80) and a Contemporary newspaper holder (worth £16).

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